NC tattoo artist transforms lives of cancer patients
Posted October 19, 2020 11:41 a.m. EDT
Updated October 19, 2020 11:55 a.m. EDT
Hampstead, N.C. — Jenean Lacorte walks the line between medicine and art every day, specializing in "scar camouflage" and 3D nipple tattoos for people after breast cancer.
Painting was an early passion for Lacorte, but after her sister-in-law was diagnosed with breast cancer, she put down the paintbrush and turned to tattooing.
"From my very first tattoo I knew this is what I should be doing with my life," Lacorte said. "I absolutely love it."
The healing is more than skin deep. Lacorte's patients say her work has given them confidence to move on after cancer, whether it's dating again after a mastectomy or applying for their dream jobs.
"I understand how much weight a scar can hold," Lacorte said. "Sometimes you don't realize what it's doing to you emotionally until you can have a resolution that helps hide it."
Lacorte said, "As much as I love to do this for people, I would love to never have to do this ever again if it meant nobody else had cancer."
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and Lacorte says it's a reminder of how important her work is.
"You can't tie a pretty pink ribbon around what cancer is, but it is a chance to openly talk about something that affects every single person," she said. "Everyone knows a person that's been through breast cancer."
Whether it's a cancer survivor or someone looking to get rid of scars from accidents, surgeries or self-harm, Lacorte said she keeps in touch with each of her patients.
"It's like they're part of my family, part of my friends now, I took them through that journey," she said. "I took them past the hard and into the 'what's next' phase in their life. It's powerful to be a part of that."